OpenVZ is container-based virtualization for Linux. OpenVZ creates multiple secure, isolated containers (otherwise known as VEs or VPSs) on a single physical server enabling better server utilization and ensuring that applications do not conflict. Each container performs and executes exactly like a stand-alone server; a container can be rebooted independently and have root access, users, IP addresses, memory, processes, files, applications, system libraries and configuration files. For more information about the technology and how it differs from the others like Xen, VMware etc., see introduction to virtualization, doc/openvz-intro.pdf (73 KB) or Wikipedia's OpenVZ (source: openvz).


OpenVz was introduced in Lenny (packages vzctl, vzquota, linux-image-2.6.26-2-openvz-686 for instance), supported by the i386 and amd64 architectures.

In 2.6.29, openvz was included in the Debian linux source package (no need for extra linux-patch-openvz package)

The Debian 6.0 release notes include a warning that Debian 7.0 (wheezy) will no longer include a kernel which has been patched with the OpenVZ extensions. One of the following options must be used in order to use OpenVZ on Debian 7.0 (wheezy):

Alternatively, the LXC subsystem could be used (although some OpenVZ features are absent from LXC in Wheezy).

If you are the guest

Running Debian inside an OpenVZ container, as a guest, imposes some limitations that you must take into account.

Upgrading an OpenVZ container on the 2.6.* kernel should work fine up to Wheezy, but you must not upgrade to Jessie unless you take steps to prevent systemd from being used as the new init system.

See also

CategorySoftware | CategoryVirtualization | CategorySystemAdministration